Tasted in Beaune with Nicolas Potel and Matt Chittick, 31 Jan, 2014. As you will see (to the right) even with a broken finger, Nicolas recommends to you his 2012 Richebourg with sushi!
Potel on prices:“Grape contracts were 25-30% (on average) up versus 2010. More sought-after crus are experiencing more competition and Malconsorts (for instance) has had to jump from €60 to €100 ex cellar between 2010 and 2012 to cover that cost. I think that most villages wines still offer great value at €16-22 ex-domaine, but even at these prices, it becomes hard because we begin to look very expensive in the US because of the 3-tier system – each tier adding another margin.”
Potel on 2012s: All were bottled unfiltered – and that’s the first time since 2009 – as they had very low turbidity. The whites were mainly bottled just before the 2013 harvest.
The Domaine reds:
Began bottling in December/January. The main production is now in The Savigny Industrial Estate; red elevage is in demi-muids, only the crus get standard 228 litre barrels. All the domaine wines are labelled as Vieilles-Vignes; here, their chosen border being 40 years.
2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Maison Dieu
A warm core of red fruit – its very pretty and inviting. A wide swath of velvet tannin in the mouth, behind are flavours of depth and interest. It’s a strong finish that tastes a little stony. Good stuff!
2012 Côte de Nuits Villages Vieilles-Vignes
Deeper nose that’s more concentrated and shows very dark-red cherry fruit. The palate is also more concentrated – plenty of tannin but it’s grippy, rather than grainy. Very lovely, mouth-watering dark fruits. Yum!
2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles-Vignes
Higher tones, with width and a crunchy dark-cherry fruit. More mineral, with quickly growing intensity. The fruit on your tongue is also high-toned, and in this case mouth-watering right into the finish. Tasty.
2012 Volnay Les Grandes Poisots
Here is a good width of finely detailed dark-red fruit – hints of floral too. Plenty of tannin here, lithe stance and a growing intensity. Very pretty fruit flavours as the tannin starts to melt…
2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
Here the aromas are more shy but there’s still a very lovely core of focused fruit. Again, plenty of tannin but the overall balance is better than the Volnay as there’s a more apparent fruit concentration. Balanced and interesting.
Brilliant, vivid fruit – dark-red. Depth, with good texture, fine flavour and great concentration. Brilliant Savigny.The tannin only shows a little on the finish. Just great!
2012 Beaune 1er Les Teurons
The nose is a little deeper and spicier than the Jarrons. In the mouth it’s fresher, with a lovely growing intensity of flavour that has a constant battle with the tannin – this is very pretty fruit indeed. Lithe and energetic wine. Yum!
2012 Beaune 1er Pertuisots
The nose is wide, flighty and floral – lovely aromatic energy. Here the tannin is much finer and has a faint salty tang. A long and interesting wine rather than a round one.
Very old vines. The work is done by horse and hand in these vines.
Lovely depth and high tones – very pretty. Width of flavour, power and lots of energy here – Oof – really brilliant personality. Very yum indeed!
2012 Nuits St.Georges
Deep, tightly held, modest but focused fruit. Very fine tannin, plenty of flavour here – quite mineral too. Then a truly super mouth-watering finish. Super wine in a more discrete package than previous vintages(?)
2012 Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
12k planting density, ploughed by horse.
Very fine focus to the dark-red fruit – almost confiture – very pretty. Wide, and again slightly mineral. lovely concentration and developing flavour. The tannin is pushed more into the background by the covering of fruit. Very good finish!
2012 Vosne-Romanée Les Quartiers de Nuits
The nose has decent width and depth, slowly building a higher-toned aspect too. Relatively silky though as the tannin grows I’d revise that to velvet! Here is a long line of good flavour, all the way into the finish. Good stuff.
2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Lovely depth of ripe, dark-red fruit – very impressive. Just a faint spice. Width. There’s a little plushness and a good core of concentration that slowly fades. An up-front, indeed buxom wine, with lots of personality.
The ‘Maison’ reds:
2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Some high tones, but considering what has come before it (Suchots…) this is aromatically very pretty. Good sweetness of fruit, and a nice balance too. This wine is drinking very well already…
2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvée Reserve
Aromatically just a little deeper but shows flashes of fine high-toned fruit too. In the mouth there’s a little more structure but again there’s a super quality of fruit at the core of this wine.
2012 Côte de Nuits Villages
This is actually bottled – but still there’s a hint of reduction – it slowly lifts with swirling. Round, slightly more savoury flavour of fruit and well structured. The finish is much more serious than the last two Bourgognes – yet I prefer them for their nicer fruit.
High-toned and pretty, with medium-pitched darker red fruit. Lithe, with decent sweetness and understated (for 12!) tannin. There are pretty finishing flavours too. Chorey can offer sweet and fat entertainment – but this is altogether more sophisticated. Very good!
From 4 different parcels
Cliché Volnay aromatic of fruit and flowers – it’s beautiful – wow! Great fruit and plenty of tannin but there’s really good energy too. Super!
2012 Volnay Cuvée Reserve
From a selection of barrels of the above wine, plus a little ‘spare’ Volnay 1er Mitans.
The nose starts a little dumb but a gorgeously focused note of sweet black berries evolves in the glass. Lots of tannin here but behind it there’s a flora and fruit mix that’s really beguiling. The non reserve is more open and friendly today, but why not buy both – the price difference ex-domaine is €1 !!!
Lovely, lovely, depth of aroma and a slowly developing floral note too. Width, energy, concentration and a growing intensity. I have always loved his wine from chez Potel – and again I am wowed. Great length and relatively modest tannin. Brilliant.
Lovely, ripe, dark-red fruit aroma. Sweetness of fruit on the palate – this is such a friendly and ‘giving’ wine that it envelops you. Very lovely.
2012 Nuits St.Georges 1er Vaucrains
Higher-toned and with very good aromatic depth, though narrower than the Boudots. Again you are greeted with a nice sweetness of (here, cooler) fruit. A little more structure is there but this has a gorgeous mouth-watering finish. Les friendly than the Boudots today, though eventually a better wine I think.
Swirling liberates a very fine central core of fruit aroma – around that core is more herbal. Plenty of tannin here, some astringency too – but behind the fruit shouts ‘don’t forget me…’ A good finish.
2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Here the nose has more reticent but darker ripe fruit at its base. Plenty of tannin again, the fruit is interesting and cool but really only puts on a show in the finish. This will certainly need a little cellar time for equilibrium.
Not a wine of aromatic impact, rather slowly growing and very pretty notes. Rounder than Suchots with very good energy – lovely ebullient fruit. This has plenty of structure too. Overall, a super wine!
2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er Petite Monts
Wider, more airy, more high-toned nose – it’s very inviting. Plenty of structure but with clean and pure fruit behind that has additional dimensions of flavour too. Seemingly more serious than the Beaumonts – needing time.
A very impressive palette of fruits and fainter spices – the best yet! More depth, more textured but always with good freshness. More complex than the last wines and with a hint of saltiness to the minerality too. Brilliant!
Top to bottom, here is a very fine aromatic, though there could be more width. In the mouth there’s plenty of width and a fine, slightly fat texture too. Long finishing, this is simply a super villages.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur
Here the aromas are not that wide and the nose is a little less interesting as it is mainly from oak I think – then rescued! – a lovely little floral note comes through – so I’ve plenty of hope for this.Very good density and concentration – here is very impressive flavour, which certainly outshines the nose today.
The nose offers up a depth of ripe fruit – very inviting. Sweet and impressively powerful – super dimension of flavour here. Super-impressive wine.
Wild and impressive aromas that have lovely width and freshness too. Power, gorgeous fruit and very, very long finishing. Mid-palate structure is well covered here. Brilliant!
Aromatically wide and pretty. Super-round in the mouth with good structure yet still very pretty fruit. Not showing well apparently as it normally bests the Mazis, but today is clearly behind…
“It’s the best Charmes I ever made” says Nicky – high praise indeed. I don’t know whether it’s really his best, but it was absolutely brilliant.
Dark and mineral nose – wow, concentrated too – even if Nicky hadn’t said anything, my ears would have already pricked-up. Brilliant, concentrated and mineral – Nicky is right. For its relative ‘standing’ and despite being Grand Cru, maybe the best wine in the cellar…
2012 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
More modest but very finely detailed aromatic. Maybe wider and maybe more complex than the Charmes, but today definitely doesn’t stamp its own personality in the same way. Only the length has an advantage here – a good Bèze, none-the-less.
Super aromatic depth, simply super. Really, really wide palate that shows some minerality and a little saltiness too. Real depth, you are almost immersed in this wine. Not many words, but GREAT wine.
2012 Clos de Vougeot
Here is also depth of aroma, but it’s a more limited width. This is fuller and rounder than the Echézeaux, but less overtly fresh. Lots of structure – a really big wine. This will need quite some cellar time to ‘relax…’
Medium-plus colour. Slowly growing aromas – really becomes quite captivating.Great minerality, a hint of saltiness and fine energy all add up to make this a really impressive Bonnes-Mares, rather than brutal. Lovely!
2012 Romanée St.Vivant
High-tones over an interesting and fresh palette of aromas – gently, rather than powerful. Here is lovely width and flavour dimension. This is really a contemplative wine and, frankly, I’m loving it.